People in West Roxbury - and Roslindale - who get those blue ValPak envelopes filled with coupons this week got at least one "coupon" that advertises an alleged conspiracy by the "bicycle lobby" and people from outside the neighborhood to destroy West Roxbury by forcing bike lanes onto Centre Street, and down the throats of the good citizens of that leafy neighborhood.
The "coupons" do not indicate who paid for them and do not mention that the city ignored calls to do something about pedestrian problems along the windy four-lane road until a West Roxbury resident walking in a Centre Street crosswalk died after being hit by a motorist who said she was blinded by the sun - at the same intersection where another West Roxbury resident suffered a traumatic brain injury three years earlier when he was hit by a motorist who sped by another driver who had stopped to let him walk across the street.
After an emotional meeting at the West Roxbury Elks Club following Marilyn Wentworth's death, city planners began looking at a proposal to essentially narrow Centre Street to three lanes - one travel lane in each direction and a turning lane in the middle, with pedestrian islands at several intersections.
The proposal would allow for dedicated bike lanes - the street does not currently have any. At a raucous meeting at Holy Name School, some people who do not live in West Roxbury, including the owner of a Jamaica Plain bicycle shop, supported the plan. However, the bulk of bicyclists - or parents of bicyclists - who rose to support the idea gave West Roxbury addresses, and discussed how they tried to avoid Centre Street because it is so dangerous.